DeVos: Federal Work Study program needs reforms

National

WASHINGTON (WOOD) — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was on Capitol Hill Tuesday to defend the department’s spending proposal.

The West Michigan native has had a tenuous relationship with the House and Senate since her confirmation hearing. She has been criticized by Democrats for not testifying often enough on the activities of the Department of Education.

Tuesday’s questions from the House Appropriations subcomittee ranged from spending priorities to putting more teachers in classrooms.

Republican John Moolenaar, who represents Michigan’s 4th District, questioned DeVos about the Federal Work Study program, which provides part-time jobs for students who need help paying for college. He wondered how that money could be best used.

“Any other reforms in your budget to ensure that funds are best targeted to students who need the funds most?” the Midland lawmaker asked.

“We believe the Federal Work Study program needs reforms because the way the formula works today, very often those funds go to the most elite institutions, not the ones that are really serving students with the most need,” DeVos answered.

The conversation about the Education Department’s budget is ultimately about documenting the plan’s priorities. The odds a new budget will be negotiated and adopted with a deeply divided House, Senate and White House seem slim to none. Instead, another continuing resolution that keeps spending around current levels is more likely.

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